Silk Roads Series: Art of Tea

Silk Roads: Art of Tea by Jewel K. Goode

Although intercultural exchanges involving tea developed between European ports, such as those in Portugal, and the Far East from 16th century onwards, tea-drinking is believed to have it origins rooted in southern Asia, dating to the Han period.  It was first used as a medicinal elixir concocted from untreated green leaves. However, by the T’ang period, tea was enjoyed as a refreshing beverage, prepared from leaves that had been moistened and formed into a dense mold.  Anecdotes dating to the 8th century reveal how the city of Chang-an had a flourishing number of tea shops, and many touted the health benefits of tea rather than wine.

These intercultural exchanges were the direct result of the expansive network of maritime and land routes that explorers, missionaries, physicians actively travelled across. By embarking on such journeys, they were also able to transmit elements of Western culture to the Far East, which were later transformed and reconceptualized by those regions, according to their specific aesthetic preferences.   As a result of this transnational fluidity between diverse regions and populations along the Silk Roads, significant sociocultural imprints and innovative developments related to tea consumption eventually appeared in the West.  Such activity permitted the free flow of ideas, goods, and concepts – the effects of which are still experienced internationally throughout contemporary society.

Dynamic exchanges and sociocultural developments concerning tea were often closely associated with everyday life, daily rituals, spirituality, and community.   In some cases, consuming tea was even associated with the Taoist notions involving extraordinary psychic-spiritual and physical effects.  Therefore, tea soon made an entrance into creative spheres, including poetry and literature.   As a result, its popularity quickly rose throughout the Far East, with poets and artists writing about the pleasures of tea, tea customs, and traditions.

Thus, an aesthetic culture developed around tea-drinking, and achieved a considerable amount of notoriety, especially in medieval Japan in the 14th and 15th centuries.  Artists such as Murata Shuko, Takeno Joo, and Sen Rikyu developed a particular approach that was characterized by the term “wabi”, or frugality.  The art of the “wabi” tea ceremony, or “chado” (“the way of tea”), was borne out of a synthesis of various Japanese aesthetic and religious traditions.  Over time, it continued to exert its influence on intercultural dialogue and exchanges.  The art of tea was not only passed down through generations, but it was diffused to the West and across various continents.  The powerful sociocultural elements embedded in tea were due to its ability to develop and solidify community bonds.

Tea was first exported from Macau through Malacca.  It then passed from Manila to the Indian sub-continent before reaching the West.  Cultures and regions around the world have continued to adapt the ubiquitous product according to their own societal norms.  Similar to that of the Chinese culture, tea is often associated with pre-engagement rituals between a future bride and groom.  The British and Dutch also incorporated the beverage into their lifestyles, where it developed connotations linked to hospitality, mutual understanding, local tradition, and community.  Bento de Gois, Italian missionary, Sabatino de Ursis, and Italian cartographer, Matteo Ricci are examples of individuals during the 16th and 17th centuries who actively explored unknown regions in the Far East in order to gather knowledge, understanding, and appreciation.  Their experiences abroad were later transmitted and incorporated into elements of western society and traditions.

Moreover, in the Portuguese language, “cha” is derived from the Cantonese pronunciation of the word, while “tha” and “tea” are derivatives of the Fukinese dialect. The transcendent power of tea as a beverage and renowned universal concept, is visibly translated in old teas salons on Rua Nova de El-Rei (also known as Avenida do Cinco de Outubro), as well as houses typical to Macau. These tea salons referenced Mediterranean urban structures, built around squares and cobblestoned streets, and were reminiscent of European cities. Thus, the transmission of tea to other regions of the world was possible due to the cultural significance it carried, both as a product and a concept.  Positive connotations associated with tea and its benefits still exist in contemporary society, due to the active exchange of ideas, concepts, and goods along the Silk Roads, and beyond.

Author: Jewel K. Goode.  Global Communications Specialist, Writer, Art Curator, and Photographer

Image © Rain of Joy.  Sources provided upon request.

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Silk Roads Series: Art of Tea

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Silk Roads Series: Kushan Art 

Silk Roads Series: Madrasas

Silk Road Series: Classical Arabic Poetry

Interview with Russian Artist, Oleg Sheludyakov

Interview with Russian Artist, Oleg Sheludyakov

Oleg Sheludyakov, artist

I met Russian artist Oleg Sheludyakov (b. 1971) while we were both living in Berlin, Germany several years ago.  His gentle, unassuming nature complemented the intensity of his gaze, revealing a highly intuitive, introspective individual whose visual language matches his intellectualism.   As a friend and avid supporter, I have followed his artistic journey and continue to remain inspired by his ability to evolve.  The artist currently resides in Marseille, France.  His work was recently part of the Yellow Butterfly Effect exhibition in his Siberian hometown of Novosibirsk, Russia.

Oleg Sheludyakov. Sunset in Paris, 2010. Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

I asked Sheludyakov to describe when he decided to embark on this particular journey, and it would seem that he was always destined to become a professional painter. In 1977 his parents enrolled him in Kaleidoscope Fine Art School for children. He recounted with nostalgia being completely enchanted by the ambiance of the atelier with its fresh smell of paint, life-like plaster models, magical paint brushes, colorful palettes, and a profusion of art history books – a veritable Paradise on Earth.  It was during these formative years that Sheludyakov decided to embark on a non-traditional professional path.

Oleg Sheludyakov. The Last Day of Summer, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 40 cm x 40 cm.

The artist’s trajectory has been susceptible to frequent oscillations and shifts in forward momentum.  However, it has never diverged far from its intended course.  At the age of 17, he began his studies in architecture at the Novosibirsk Engineering Institute and later graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Humanities from Novosibirsk State University in 1995. He then studied monumental painting at Novosibirsk Fine Arts and Architectural Academy and drawing at the Fine Arts Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Oleg Sheludyakov. Light Day, 2012. Oil on canvas, 120 x 160 cm.

Sheludyakov’s paintings clearly reflect his Russian sensibilities lightly dusted with French influences – a charming combination which reinforces the enigmatic nature of his work and clearly distinguishes him from other contemporary artists. Over the years, the prolific painter has capitalized on a vast artistic repertoire and solid work ethic.  His work is deeply personal, reflecting profound intellectual and artistic growth.

Oleg Sheludyakov. Night in Montmartre, 2010. Oil on canvas, 80 x 80 cm.

The artist’s signature work reflects a very specific iconography and complex visual lexicon, with extensive references to his native Russia. He has masterfully implemented particular subjects, images, and applied techniques which faithfully appear as leitmotif.  The nu féminin (female nudes), seaside and urban landscapes, nautical themes, music, animals and a profusion of cobalt blue throughout are primary examples.

Oleg Sheludyakov. Hokku, 2009. Oil on canvas, 30 cm x 24 cm.

With half of his international clientele preferring the nu féminin, Sheludyakov’s work is constantly evolving and reflects a deep appreciation of the female form. This fact intrigued me, and I was interested in the specific demographics of those who purchase his nu féminin.  External variables such as age, nationality, and profession vary widely – from students to investment bankers.  Sensitive to feminine beauty, Russians tend to be the most frequent buyers, followed by Germans, French, and Americans, who often purchase his most expensive works.

Subject, style, color palette, and technique afford a clear, visible translation of human emotion and themes.  The vast spectrum may range from pure, gentle and harmonious to somber, expressive, and frenetic.  With a large percentage of his work explicitly devoted to the creation of the nu féminin, I was curious as to origins of this admiration. His response was both philosophical and poetic.  The artist believes very few things rival the ethereal beauty of this particular genreHe is careful to define beauty within the realm of abstract or conceptual theories.  By respecting the boundaries between intangibility and physicality during the creative process, Sheludyakov is able to explore the origins of beauty, grace, femininity, elegance, harmony, and sensuality without restraint.  The question remains as to how Sheludyakov chooses his models.  Selection of nude models is surprisingly uncomplicated — acquaintances, friends, or family members, for example.  It is simply a matter of identifying specific traits unique to each individual, and then accurately translating those traits into a cohesive image.

Jewel Goode. Oleg Sheludyakov, French Evening, 2015
Oleg Sheludyakov, French Evening, 2015

Sheludyakov only has one exception: professional models. Through experience, their body has become a logical, physical tool which remains distinctly detached from their authentic self. This ultimately limits emotional emancipation and decreases the possibility of unveiling the true, feminine essence.  Although this degree of professionalism is highly admirable, the artist prefers the innocence of amateur models.  Sheludyakov is known to be a prolific painter, so I asked about the duration of the entire process.  He stated that creative processes vary from beginning to end. For example, the technical aspects of creating a nu féminin are somewhat similar to that of painting landscapes or producing images from the imagination.

However, the existential journey inherent to the production of a nu féminin is unrivalled due to lasting emotional bonds between subject and painter; painter and canvas. Commissioning live models facilitates the creative process by guiding line, form, and volume.  It is important to remain vigilant so as to avoid producing flat, naturalistic work.  Thus, understanding the difference between the physicality of form and a more profound, metaphysical side is essential.

Oleg Sheludyakov. Virtuositic Playing, 2008. Oil on canvas, 80 cm x 60 cm.

The same holds true for landscapes.  The immediate perception of colors, interpretation, and subsequent translation of experiences is more powerful during the plein-air painting process. Sheludyakov attempts to expedite the entire process in order to retain a certain freshness and spontaneity. For acrylic works, three to four days is sufficient.  However, oil paintings require more finesse, averaging approximately ten days.

Jewel Goode. Oleg Sheludyakov, French Evening, 2015
Oleg Sheludyakov, French Evening, 2015

Once the paintings are finished, Sheludyakov lovingly releases them to the public with an open heart. When asked to define an exceptional painting, in general, the artist confidently stated that a true chef-d’oeuvre is the antithesis of indifference because it evokes admiration and encourages reflection.  This type of work reaches deep emotional depths of the spectator and ultimately has the power to inspire others.

Oleg Sheludyakov. Stars and Lights of Nice, 2013. Oil on canvas, 60 cm x 92 cm

I recently obtained my third Master of Arts degree in Global Communications from the American University of Paris, and I have conducted extensive doctoral research about the effects of globalization on the Opéra national de Paris, so I was curious as to how the current international climate has personally affected Sheludyakov. It is evident that the globalized economy has transformed the art market, artists, and artistic production.

The notion of evolution is a salient topic which artists cannot ignore.  Remaining in an isolated sphere is no longer a viable option or lucrative alternative. Sheludyakov is clearly aware of this paradigm shift in contemporary society and adopts a philosophical approach.  Since creativity does not exist in a vacuum, artistic evolution is directly linked to inevitable transformation, active exploration, and ultimate change defined within the context of relevant sociocultural parameters – even if this approach may sometimes lead to an impasse.

Oleg Sheludyakov. Sunny South, 2011. Oil on canvas, 80 cm x 90 cm

Unfortunately, the sale of Sheludyakov paintings has suffered due to globalization and the inevitable democratization of the art market.  Throughout the 1990’s until the early 2000’s, there was a strong appreciation for Russian contemporary artists. Since then, interest in Russian art has decreased significantly.  In addition, the internet is saturated with artists of every genre, rendering it difficult to clearly differentiate one’s brand.  Fortunately, Sheludyakov has maintained a close circle of faithful collectors and gallerists over the years.  This is partially due to a resistance to short-term trends, increased online visibility that has been carefully nurtured, and complete confidence in the creative process.

Oleg Sheludyakov. Yellow Butterfly’s Effect, 2013. Oil on linen, 46 cm x 55 cm

 

Author: Jewel K. Goode.  Global Communications Specialist, Writer,  Art Curator, and Photographer

Contact Oleg Sheludyakov or purchase his artwork by visiting his website.

Less is More: The Evolution of my Aesthetic Preferences

Less is More: The Evolution of my Aesthetic Preferences

Universally accepted socio-cultural codes are inherently cross-generational.  They have always existed, whether firmly stated, gently whispered, or clearly implied.  Interest in the complex interrelationship between fashion, art, and society began very early and continue to evolve.  Although I am from southern California, I have spent a significant amount of time living abroad learning how to adapt – and not assimilate – my own preferences to those of the culture that embraces me.

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). Image Credit: Fashion Gone Rogue

I am always eager to find a way to merge my interests into a cohesive, external shell that most accurately reflects my authentic self.  The iconic Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn have always provided inspiration for me with their natural grace and understated elegance.  I tend to agree with the renowned architect, Mies van der Rohe: “Less is More”.

Karl Lagerfeld, Sketch for Chanel.

Over the years, I have become more flexible and tastes have been gently transformed without sacrificing my fundamental values.   Having lived in a multitude of international cities including Paris, Florence, Berlin, Toronto, and London, I have been fully immersed in other societies, appreciating the subtle nuances of cultural norms, linguistic codes, and acceptable attire while still protecting my core sensibilities.  Therefore, I am always eager to find a way to merge those interests into a cohesive, external shell that most accurately reflects my authentic self.

Hermès, F/W 2014/2015. Image Credit: vogue.fr

When I am at home in southern California, I am encapsulated in a sunny world of cool, ocean breezes and beautiful, sandy beaches.  Therefore, I tend to adopt a minimalistic approach.  It is only appropriate that I slip into an airy sundress and sandals.  However, working at the Opéra national de Paris – Palais Garnier, and now at Rémy Cointreau on Haussmann Boulevard in Paris, requires a more conservative approach with elements of controlled creativity.

Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2017. Image Credit: vogue.fr

 

Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2017. Image Credit: vogue.fr

Although I was raised in a family with strong ties to the Armed Forces, I ultimately attended a Quaker boarding school.  The complex interrelationship between the individual, socially acceptable dress codes, and attitude were rather dramatic, to say the very least.  At home, we fervently adhered to the old adage, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” in all aspects of life.  There was no higher compliment than to be referred to as someone who was “neat and tidy”. Even now, I feel most comfortable in clothes that are easy to wear with simple, clean lines and monochromatic colors.

Hermès Paris Fashion Week SS 17. Image Credit: vogue.fr
Hermès Paris Fashion Week SS 17. Image Credit: vogue.fr

My adopted Quaker environment was diametrically opposed to strict military standards, both in lifestyle and ideology.  Fashion was relatively non-existent, but individual expression, creativity, and curiosity were highly laudable traits.  At first, I was uncertain about the unabashed enthusiasm that erupted over the mixing of fabrics, textures, colors, and proportions.  I found myself questioning the taste and sanity of classmates and professors who seemed to have reached a soothing state of nirvana in their wrinkled trousers, colorful scarves, and comfortable Birkenstocks.

Karl Lagerfeld’s Haute Couture Spring Collection held at the Grand Palais Paris is January 2017 is an accurate reflection of my aesthetic preferences with the feminine silhouettes and cinched-in waists. The luxurious fabrics and embellishments elevate the ensembles. Yet, there is something quite conservative and inherently minimalistic about the heritage collection.

Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel Haute Couture, Spring 2017. Image Credit: vogue.fr

 

Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel Haute Couture, Spring 2017. Image Credit: vogue.fr

Trends have never peaked my curiosity, but the timelessness and enduring traits of an exceptional product never cease to inspire me.  It has been a natural progression that has attracted me to internationally renowned French heritage brands which reflect discreet, understated elegance.  Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel are clear examples of brands which value quality, excellence, and craftsmanship while providing effortless style.

Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel Haute Couture, Spring 2017. Image Credit: vogue.fr

 

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun: Portraits of Marie-Antoinette and Courtly Life

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun: Portraits of Marie-Antoinette and Courtly Life

Élisabeth Louise Vigée le Brun still remains a relatively unknown female artist belonging to the Age of Enlightenment despite having achieved many notable successes. Born in 1755 during the reign of Louis XV, Vigée le Brun was raised in a family of artists who introduced her to the world of painting and fine art. She is perhaps most renowned for her portraits of Marie-Antoinette.  However, she was never fully celebrated in France until the 21st century when the Grand Palais devoted an entire exhibition to the artist and her work.

Jewel Goode Marie Antoinette 1
Marie-Antoinette en grand habit de cour (1778). Photo by Jewel Goode, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Vigée Le Brun’s idealized representations of the Queen offer an innocent, serene, and spiritual interpretation of courtly life while highlighting the essence of royalty.  Marie-Antoinette en grand habit de cour (1778) was the artist’s first official portrait which shows the Queen en grand panier.  She is dressed in a voluminous, luxurious, white satin gown with exquisite golden tassels and trimming as her gaze is averted to the right.  Her intricate lace bodice with princess seams and three-quarter length sleeves is carefully adorned with white, satin bows.  This whiteness mirrors the paleness of her translucent, white flesh.  A sophisticated feather hat sits atop Marie-Antoinette’s elegant coiffure.  The Queen’s stance is both intimidating and gracious as she poses in the corner of a stately room holding one pink rose. Her crown rests inconspicuously upon a purple cushion embroidered with golden fleur-de-lis.  It is situated next to a vase of pale pink, purple, and white flowers.

Decorative Arts 3
Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Marie-Antoinette à la rose (1783)

During this time, 18th century women began to opt for the robe chemise in mousseline cotton which did not require an obtrusive panier.  These simplified garments were designed from one piece of fabric.  They were preferred for their comfort and ease of movement. Vigée Le Brun’s portrait of Marie-Antoinette, La reine vêtue d’une robe chemise, was shown at the 1783 Salon, an exhibition space for the Royal Academy.  The Queen appears in a white, cotton “peasant dress” with a transparent, golden sash tied around her waist.  Her relaxed curls are topped by a simple, straw-feathered hat with blue satin ribbon.  She fixes her soft gaze upon the spectator as she arranges a simple bouquet of flowers in her delicate hands.

Decorative Arts 2
Marie-Antoinette en gaulle (1783).  Photo by Jewel Goode, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Despite its charm, the portrait was deemed inappropriate and offensive by many due to the severe informality of a dress meant to be worn in the privacy of one’s boudoir.   It was soon replaced by Marie-Antoinette à la rose, showing the queen in more traditional courtly attire.

Marie Antoinette et ses enfants Grand Palais
Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Marie -Antoinette et ses enfants (1787)

In 1785, Vigée Le Brun was commissioned to paint a monumental portrait of the Queen.  The portrait was to highlight the maternal characteristics of the Queen by having her appear with her three children.  Marie-Antoinette et ses enfants (1787) shows a serene, benevolent Queen comfortably seated in a chair.  Her feet rest upon a green cushion embroidered with golden arabesques.  These same arabesques are mirrored in the multicolored Persian rug.  Marie-Antoinette is clothed in red, stately, full-length gown with plunging décolleté edged in delicate white lace.  Atop her simple coiffeur sits a stylish, red hat with white feathers and blue satin ribbon.  Her outward gaze is confident, yet tranquil, as she loving embraces a restless baby on her lap, clothed in a white cap and gown with blue sash.

A blond-haired daughter with cherubic features, dressed in a similar velvet red gown with satin bows in blue and gold, lovingly gazes upward as she wraps her arms around her mother’s right arm.  The third child is also elegantly clothed in a red velvet pant suit with white lace collar and blue satin sash. This piercing blue is reflected in every figure’s eyes.  The child stands proudly next to a royal bassinet heavily draped in a deep, forest-green satin.  The ensemble of voluminously-clothed figures is prominently arranged in a pyramidal form.  This is in direct contrast to strong vertical lines created by the architectural columns and wooden cabinet situated in the background.

Due to the success of Marie-Antoinette en grand habit de cour, Vigée Le Brun was invited to paint a series portraits of the Queen.  By varying the accessories, clothing, poses, and environment, the artist successfully highlighted certain inimitable characteristics of the Marie-Antoinette’s complex personality.  This included her natural grace, elegance, and confidence.  Vigée Le Brun’s portraits of the Queen also provided clear, invaluable insight into sociocultural norms which were visibly reflected in the representation of acceptable courtly attire.

Author: Jewel K. Goode

Karl Lagerfeld and the Opéra national de Paris: A multi-sensorial, artistic collaboration

Karl Lagerfeld and the Opéra national de Paris: A multi-sensorial, artistic collaboration

jewel-goode-opera-balanchine-pg-lagerfeld-and-dancers
Photo by Jewel K. Goode, 2016. Karl Lagerfeld Backstage at the Opéra Bastille for George Balanchine’s Brahms-Schönberg Quartet. All Rights Reserved.

The haute couture ballet costumes and set design for George Balanchine’s Brahms-Schönberg Quartet were created by Karl Lagerfeld for the Opéra national de Paris.  Renowned dancers Bart Cook and Maria Calegari served as the choreographers, and I acted as the cultural liaison and assistant to choreographers, artists, and directors.  The luxurious costumes reflect an innovative, collaborative approach to fashion in the rapidly evolving globalized community.  Moreover, they fully activate the five senses while providing elements of fantasy of a bygone era.  For, “There will never be a world without fantasy, which expresses the unconscious unfulfilled” (S. Kaiser, 1997).

jewel-goode-opera-national-de-paris-balanchine-premiere-with-bart-cook-and-maria-calegari
Photo by Jewel K. Goode.  Jewel K. Goode with choreographers of George Balanchine’s “Brahms-Schönberg Quartet”, Bart Cook and Maria Calegari.  All Rights Reserved.

This is an essential point, since art, fashion, and culture inhabit the same multi-sensorial landscape.  They represent a constantly evolving visual language which must be effectively transmitted to spectators. Inaugurated in 1875, the OnP formerly represented an elitist Parisian society.  The institution was historically linked to utopian images of wealth, power, prestige, and elegance. Therefore, Lagerfeld’s costume designs for each of Balanchine’s four acts needed to the encapsulate the Zeitgeit of the OnP.  That essence was effectively transmitted through a consistent visual theme involving textures, costume accessories, and classical ballet silhouettes.  A muted color palette of white, pale pink, and crème-orange created a bold visual juxtaposition with the monochromatic interjection of black and white details and piping.  Traditionally feminine elements and curvilinear shapes were visible with velvet headpieces and armbands, satin ribbons, tulle/chiffon tutus, and bejeweled caps.  These contrasted the straight lines and geometrical shapes traditionally considered masculine.

Lagerfeld conceptualized various sketches which were inspired by the Vienna Secession, an artistic movement established in 1897. Costumes were skillfully constructed in the OnP couture atelier according to Lagerfeld’s initial artistic intentions, but still allowed for subsequent modifications and adjustments of material, fabric, and accessories.  Thus, costumes were individually adapted to each ballet dancer, taking into consideration rigorous choreographic maneuvers.  They also accounted for other variables including lighting, sound, and stage conditions.  This resulted in the creation of regal, yet fashionable costumes which contributed to the multi-sensorial landscape while integrating an advanced degree of technological innovation and functionality.

Lagerfeld’s extensive research resulted in the creation of tailored men’s black and white suede waistcoats, as well as folklore-inspired, embroidered headdresses.  The women’s costumes included black and white bodices with princess seams in satin and velvet attached to voluminous tutus constructed of pink, orange, and white tulle/chiffon.  Use of luxurious fabrics and detailed embroidery created a sophisticated, glamorous environment of classic, understated elegance.  It also alluded to a previous era where clothing was symbolic of an individual’s social status and morality – whether actual or contrived.  Lagerfeld’s set design purposefully evoked an ancient palace adorned with heavy, gray, floor-length drapery.  This contrasted the color palette and texture of the costumes.  Such an atmosphere was meant to reference the waning splendor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Artistic collaborations between the French heritage institution and fashion have steadily increased in the globalized economy.   The OnP has hosted a variety of cultural events and fashion shows such as Stella McCartney and Dries van Noten.  Moreover, the OnP has collaborated with renowned fashion designers including Christian Lacroix for George Balanchine’s Le Palais de cristal, and Yves Saint-Laurent for Roland Petit’s Notre-Dame de Paris.  Recently, it has begun collaborative efforts with contemporary, avant-garde fashion designers such as Iris van Herpen for Benjamin Millepied’s Clear, Loud, Bright, Forward, Alessandro Sartori for Millepied’s La nuit s’achève, and Mary Katranzou for Justin Peck’s Entre chien et loup.

Author: Jewel K. Goode 

Newsletter N.1

Newsletter N.1, Spring 2015

Paris, France. Jewel Kismet Designs, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Paris, France. Jewel Kismet Designs, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

I am pleased to announce the launch of the Spring 2015 Newsletter.  Future editions will seek to inform you of current activities, events, and exhibitions in the art world. Provocative discussions will be initiated in order to encourage thoughtful expression, stimulate creativity, and provide invaluable learning opportunities. Compelling blogs will also serve as an autobiographical journal exploring relevant trends. Finally, emphasizing the socio-cultural, historical, and political significance of various artistic traditions will help to promote a deeper understanding of art, photography, architecture, design, and fashion.

Newsletters will be accompanied by photographic essays, brief informational texts, and critiques. This is essential, since active participation in extensive research and art analyses are both necessary components for effective curatorial procedure. Interviews with art world professionals including museum directors, curators, gallery owners, and independent artists will be conducted, when possible. In addition, customized gifts, calendars, and other products will be available in the near future. Lastly, I am excited to announce that the 2015 publication of my PARIS photo book is now available for purchase.  Find it on the following sites: Blurb hardback and e-book editions, Amazon,  and in the Apple iBookstore.

Jewel Kismet Designs continues to flourish, thanks to increased visibility through various social media outlets. Please join me on Facebook and Twitter for more frequent updates. Thoroughly embracing these innovative approaches allows art to be discovered from a fresh, modern perspective. It is my hope that active engagement with an international audience not only increases visual arts access to the general public, but also enriches the lives of the globalized community.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Jewel K. Goode, Independent Curator, Photographer, and Educator

E-mail: jewelkismet@gmail.com

Interview with Jewel K. Goode, Global Communications Specialist, Writer, Art Curator, and Photographer

Jewel K. Goode. La Jolla, California
Jewel K. Goode. La Jolla, California.

 

Please provide a brief autobiography.

My love affair with foreign languages, art history, photography, architecture, design, and travel began very early.  I attended a Quaker boarding school before receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and French from a private liberal arts institution.  Afterward, I spent a significant amount of time in Europe and Canada where I completed two Master of Arts degrees  – one in French Civilization and Culture in Paris, and the other in Italian Studies in Florence. I have since obtained a third Master of Arts degree in Global Communications and Fashion in Paris while engaging in doctoral studies.

Experiencing life at the Sorbonne and the Università di Firenze have been significant milestones in my academic career.  These unique international opportunities allowed me to sharpen linguistic skills and effectively merge them with my studies which had a strong Art History emphasis.  I have always believed in the power of education, so I soon embarked on a career teaching both French and Italian at the University level.  While in Rome, I also completed a T.E.F.L. certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). During my time abroad, I am constantly inspired – and grateful – to have lived in some of the most fascinating cities including Paris, Avignon, Florence, Siena, Berlin, Bayreuth, Toronto, and London.  I have spent countless hours strolling through cobblestone streets, learning foreign languages, reveling in the artworks of museums and galleries, or simply enjoying the ambiance of cozy cafés.

How did your academic diplomas, degrees, or certificates prepare you for your current position?

Currently, I am a Global Communications Specialist, Writer, Art Curator, and Photographer, which has provided a myriad of exciting opportunities.  For instance, I have most recently worked at the UNESCO HQ in Paris, serving as the Silk Roads Communications Officer, as well as the Digital Communications Officer for the #WIKI4WOMEN global initiative.  In addition, I was fortunate to have worked at the prestigious Opéra national de Paris – Palais Garnier, Dance Department.  It was there that I acted as a cultural liaison and assistant to choreographers, artists, directors, and Opéra Bastille.  Moreover, extensive research,  writing, and creativity have allowed me to fully immerse myself in various endeavors, especially when working as an Investor Relations assistant for a Paris-based, luxury spirits company where I was responsible for the financial communications.

I have also obtained a Museum Studies Certification.  During this time, I learned about the theoretical and practical aspects of the art world,  from installing exhibitions to essential business practices.  This eventually led to work at a contemporary art museum in San Diego where I was fortunate to have worked with both the Associate Curator and Senior Marketing and Communications Manager.  Experience in publishing informational texts and sourcing original images has kept me actively engaged in formal analyses necessary for effective curatorial procedure across all domains.  And yes, I am thinking of publishing a book about my experiences, especially since I consider myself a writer, first and foremost.

Do you think art should be thoughtful, fun, informative, or intuitive?

I definitely think that art should be the embodiment of many things, and it is necessarily subjective.  Each individual has a unique perspective about life which affects their particular viewing experience.  The interrelationship between language, art, culture, and society has given me such a unique perspective of the world.  Wherever I am, I am always eager to merge my interests in a cohesive way, so I continue to enroll in various art history, design, and foreign language courses.  Studying Japanese, Portuguese, Arabic, German, and Spanish have become enjoyable pastimes.  Thoughtful, fun, informative, and intuitive are just a few of arts implied or unintentional purposes. Therefore, the powerful emotions that art evokes are as multifaceted and as complex as the artwork itself.

How would you increase interest and educate the general public?

Educational outreach opportunities incorporating art into academic curricula is the perfect way to share knowledge and beauty with others.  I also believe in implementing digital communications in order to reach and educate people in the far corners of the world.  The creation of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts were my initial starting points.  Not only are they fun and interactive, they also provide opportunities to share photographs, informational texts, blogs, and interviews quite frequently.  When used wisely, social media can be a powerful tool.  Interesting discussions regarding art historical trends, museums & gallery exhibitions, cultural events, and related activities can be a more easily initiated.   I am also excited to announce that the publication of my Paris photo book is available for purchase.  Find it on Amazon and in the Apple iBookstore.

Would you ever be interested in opening a Fine Art Gallery?

I have given some thought to opening an International Fine Art Gallery, and continue to weigh the positive and negative aspects carefully.  Completing the Museum Studies program gave me confidence and answered many logistical questions concerning the entire process.   Not only does being an art dealer/gallery owner appeal to my sublime love of art, design, and curating, but it also effectively combines my competencies and skills.  At the moment I am in the very early phases of curating an online gallery and Facebook page specifically for photography and visual arts.  Through continuous research, I hope to gain an even deeper understanding of such a rigorous and highly competitive field of work.

What is your favorite artistic era, and what is your favorite museum, gallery, or exhibition space?

The subject of my French Master of Arts thesis concerned 19th century European Orientalism, so I was extremely involved in that artistic era for quite some time.  However, while living in Berlin, I realized that my interests were expanding.  The Bauhaus, Art Nouveau, and German Expressionism really peaked my curiosity.  Exploring this new world provided a certain balance and harmony to my life.  I live in both La Jolla, California, and Paris, France so I travel frequently.  Recently while in Paris, I visited the Musée du Quay Branly and the Musée Picasso.  Afterward, I became thoroughly consumed by African, Oceanic, and Aboriginal art.

It is impossible to choose a favorite museum, gallery, or exhibition space since I tend to fall in love with unexpected quirks or grandiosity rather easily.  I try to fully appreciate each experience without comparing it to another.  For instance, the Louvre in Paris evokes such different emotions than the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, or the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Author: Jewel K. Goode. Global Communications Specialist, Writer, Art Curator, and Photographer 

Postcards: Berlin

Berlin, Germany

Berliner Dom. Berlin, Germany. © Jewel Kismet Designs, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

 

Altes Museum. Berlin, Germany. © Jewel Kismet Designs, 2009. All Rights Reserved.

 

Neues Museum. Berlin, Germany. © Jewel Kismet Designs, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

 

Alte National Galerie. Berlin, Germany © Jewel Kismet Designs, 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Berlin, Germany. © Jewel Kismet Designs, 2013. All Rights Reserved.